Women write music, too...

Ref: C2337150

After centuries of being largely sidelined, women composers have begun to enjoy wider recognition. Join us to explore the music of outstanding composers, from Hildegard of Bingen, through Clara Schumann and Ethel Smyth, to Judith Weir.

Course aim

The course aims to present a broad survey of music by women composers, from Hildegard of Bingen, in the 12th century, to the present day.

Who is the course for?

What topics will this course cover

We will begin with a session on composers from the Middle Ages through to the 18th century, including Hildegard of Bingen, Barbara Strozzi and Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre. We will continue moving forward chronologically meeting, among others, Clara Schumann, Fanny Mendelssohn, Alma Mahler, Ethel Smyth, Amy Beach and Rebecca Clarke, before coming up to date with Judith Weir, Sally Beamish, Anna Clyne, and others

What will it be like?

WEA classes are friendly and supportive. You will be encouraged to work together with your fellow students and tutor. You will be asked to share your ideas and views in the class and work with the group to give and accept feedback in a supportive environment. The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you to be actively involved in your learning. You may be asked to undertake work to support your course outside of your class.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

1. identify at least three significant female composers from each of the periods covered in the sessions. 2. identify elements of their particular styles in the works heard during the sessions (and any others you may encounter elsewhere). 3. describe something of the circumstances in which women composers worked. 4. describe some of the difficulties facing women composers of earlier centuries in both producing their work and getting it known.

How will I know I'm making progress?

Individual Learning Plan Question and answer, word storm, class discussion.

What else do I need to know, do or bring?

Students may wish to bring a folder for handouts, a notepad and pen.

Reading and information sources

No advance preparation is required. Suggestions for further reading and the addresses of relevant websites will be included on the handout for each session.

What could the course lead to?

Relevant broadcasts and local live performances will be brought to students' attention; possible topics for future courses will be discussed.

Download full course outline

Women write music, too... Course Outline

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course has been cancelled.


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  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
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  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2016
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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